Some North Carolina parents fear their teen or young adult children will have to deal with a drug charge. The severity of drug offenses varies. A minor drug conviction may result in little jail time and modest fines. However, a more severe charge like drug trafficking could cause a great loss of freedom and damage to one’s personal reputation.
A prosecutor may decide that a drug possession charge is not enough and add trafficking charges under certain circumstances. According to North Carolina law, possessing a certain amount of illegal substances could trigger this increase in criminal charges.
Different drug possession amounts
There are different kinds of illegal drugs, like meth, crystal meth, heroin and cocaine. State law assigns varying amounts that a person must have in order to qualify for trafficking charges. In the case of marijuana possession, you would need 10 pounds or greater to incur a trafficking violation.
State law describes many drug measurements in grams. Drug trafficking laws place a 28 gram or greater threshold for cocaine, methamphetamine or MDMA, though you could also incur a trafficking charge for having more than 100 dosage units of MDMA. Some drugs have very low gram amounts, like three grams for synthetic cannabinoid and four grams for heroin or opiates.
Factors that affect drug charges
Given that the amount of an illegal substance matters so much in drug trafficking crimes, it is crucial to establish whether a person charged with trafficking truly had enough drugs to qualify for the crime. There are varying requirements for a drug to be in someone’s possession, such as whether the person had the drugs in a place under the person’s control. Debunking claims of possession might drop a drug amount below the trafficking threshold.
Given the complexity of drug cases, it is important to understand all the necessary facets of the case as they may affect whether a particular criminal charge has any validity.